Sparks fly as governor sues over right to hold fireworks display at Mount Rushmore

US

South Dakota’s governor is suing the US Department of Interior in a bid to see fireworks shot over Mount Rushmore on Independence Day.

Republican Kristi Noem successfully pushed last year for a return of the display after a 10-year hiatus. The event drew national attention when then-president Donald Trump joined Ms Noem on 3 July to give a fiery speech.

But the state’s application to hold fireworks this year has been denied by the National Park Service, which cited safety concerns and objections from local Native American tribes.

U.S. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend South Dakota's U.S. Independence Day Mount Rushmore fireworks celebrations at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota
Image:
Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended the 2020 event

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for South Dakota, argues the decision was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the powers granted to the agency in the Constitution.

The state last year signed an agreement with the Trump administration and the Department of the Interior to work towards returning the display this year.

Mount Rushmore is a huge tourism draw, but it has also been a source of tension between the state and local Lakota tribes.

Donald Trump meets Kristi Noem in the Cabinet Room of the White House in 2018
Image:
Donald Trump meets Kristi Noem in the Cabinet Room of the White House in 2018

Activists have called for the monument to be returned to tribal control, pointing out the surrounding Black Hills were taken from the tribes in violation of treaties.

More from South Dakota

Last year’s event drew concerns about wildfires set off by the fireworks, as well as protests from Lakota activists.

The fireworks were cancelled after 2009 because of fire danger following a pine beetle infestation.

And last month the park service had to close the monument for several days as firefighters battled wildfires within the park grounds.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Firefighter fears 10 of his relatives have died in house blaze
Man who created fake fundraiser for veteran spent over £300k on holiday and shopping splurge
China extends military drills around Taiwan as fears grow of conflict
Olivia Wilde wins first custody battle as she hits out at Jason Sudeikis’s ‘aggressive’ paper serving
China sanctions Pelosi and steps up military drills as US brands Beijing reaction ‘provocative’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.